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Behaviour and Implementation Science

Behaviour and Implementation Science is a research theme within the Centre for Intelligent Healthcare.

Focus of our research

Behavioural Science/Medicine is the interdisciplinary field concerned with the development and integration of behavioural, psychosocial, and biomedical science knowledge and techniques relevant to the understanding of health and illness, and the application of this knowledge and these techniques to prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation. (Society of Behavioural Medicine).

Our mission as a theme is to develop and co-create world-leading, holistic, person-centred and innovative approaches and interventions to address global health needs; based on the biopsychosocial-spiritual model of health (Hatala 2013). Secondly, it is to conduct real-life testing in clinical practice, public health and the community to improve the acceptability, feasibility and effectiveness of these face-to-face, digital and blended technologies in order to maximise their use and impact. This is done using the most rigorous and highest standards of excellence in health and social care research.

We encompass a broad range of disciplines and methodological expertise ranging from qualitative exploration to definitive randomised controlled trials and meta-synthesis.

Core themes

  • Digital health interventions and bio-behavioural app development
  • Reducing sexual violence, domestic abuse and its impact on health
  • Mental well-being and long-term conditions
  • Religion, spirituality and health

Our strength is in our diversity of expertise and methods. Together we work on interventions, fit for the digital age, that improve the well-being and life quality of individuals, from bio-behavioural, psychological, social and spiritual perspectives.

Professor Deborah Lycett

Key researchers

The theme is led by Professor Deborah Lycett. The theme is fortunate to be able to draw upon a range of skills and expertise from within its multi-disciplinary team of researchers and PhD candidates along with critical links to award-winning social enterprises and third sector partners.

Professor Deborah Lycett

Prof. Deborah Lycett RD PhD is Professor and Theme Lead of Behavioural Sciences in the Centre of Intelligent Healthcare, she also has a personal conferred Professorship in Religious Health Interventions and Dietetic Practice. Her research explores whole-person approaches to chronic disease management. She has investigated tobacco addiction, obesity and diabetes with particular emphasis on the psychological and spiritual aspects of eating behaviour. She has introduced the concept of spiritual care into dietetic practice and continues to explore this. She is also interested to see more generally what the role of faith-based interventions is on health and well-being and both in the community and online. Her research partnerships span the NHS, public health departments, commercial and private health providers, as well as the third sector. Her methodological expertise ranges across epidemiological, interventional and qualitative studies.

Dr Lorna O’Doherty

Dr Lorna O'Doherty is an associate professor within the Centre for Intelligent Healthcare at Coventry University. She is an honorary fellow at The University of Melbourne and has published widely on the subject of sexual and domestic abuse and health, including the weave trial published in the Lancet in 2013, several Cochrane Reviews and qualitative studies into risk and resilience. She leads the NIHR funded MESARCH project  (2018-22) looking at health and service use in survivors of sexual violence and abuse over two years. She is principal investigator on the new JiCSAV  (Justice in Covid-19 for Sexual Abuse and Violence) project funded by the ESRC as part of the UKRI Rapid Response to Covid-19. Lorna also led on developing an open, online, short course to enhance the responses of health care workers to pregnant women and birthing people subjected to intimate partner violence and gender-based violence during pregnancy. The course launches in January 2021 and can be accessed on the course website . Lorna is Director of Studies to four doctoral students.

Dr Faith Martin

Dr Faith Martin is a Clinical Psychologist, Health Psychologist and an Associate Professor. Her fundamental interests relate to how culture and circumstance, including physical health, influence psychological wellbeing. She develops self-management interventions for people with long-term conditions and is increasingly focusing on the wellbeing of parents who are supporting children/young people with mental health problems. She is leading an Emerging Minds Network (EMN) funded project to develop digital support for parents of young people who self-harm and setting up a Special Interest Research Group for Parental Wellbeing and support for parents of young people with mental health problems, funded by EMN. 

Faith is supervising several PhD students, with projects including the development of self-management support for people living with "schizophrenia" in Indonesia and understanding spiritual possession in Brazil. She is interested to supervise PhDs focusing on mental health in low-income countries and examining psychological issues relating to HIV. 

Professor Andy Turner

Andy Turner is a Professor of Health Psychology and a registered health psychologist. He has been involved in developing, delivering and evaluating health behaviour coaching and self-management programmes for patients and carers programmes for nearly 20 years. He has led a programme of work developing the Help to Overcome Problems Effectively (HOPE) health coaching and self-management support programme for people living with and beyond cancer, MS, dementia, HIV/AIDS and mental health problems. Macmillan Cancer Support has licensed the HOPE Programme for cancer survivors and now delivers it in the UK. The National Cancer Survivorship Initiative vision document (20023) cites the HOPE Programme as an exemplar of good practice.

Meet the team

Meet the centre for Intelligent Healthcare's academic and support team.

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